OCO crashes and burns

Well, about 6 hours ago (as of writing time), a Taurus XL rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Virginia ignited and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory on board, which was a new NASA satellite designed to very accurately (and sensitively) detect carbon dioxide. The goal was to better describe the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, that mission will now fall more heavily on the similar Japanese satellite called Ibuki than planned because a few minutes after launching, the Taurus XL's second stage didn't fully complete, leaving a part of the rocket attached to the 3rd and 4th stages, weight that could not be accommodated. The rocket crashed into the Southern Ocean, currently a large sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide A few more details at NYTimes.com [LINK]

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